Since this is Punjabi folklore, fable, I should perhaps write this in Punjabi, with seasoning, to get the flavour right.
However, Punjabi seasoning like ‘your pen’s ink’ (Teri Pen-Di Ink) and ‘your mother’s dal’ (Todde Maa-Ki, Dal) are to be only whispered under the breath, with stiff British upper lip, in the hallowed portals where Gorillas congregate (the parliament). So, I shall try and tell this ancient Indian story in civilized language. ‘Civilized’ is a very vague word, in the ‘Crae-jee’ mumbo-jumbo of the Indian ‘Mantri-jees’, who are to be found only in the jungles of Lutyens’ Delhi. I am told that they secretly congregate as parliament, once in a while, usually at night, to bash each other on the head with broken chair and microphones to govern India, all the time muttering TPD, TMK, BC and MC in unadulterated Punjabi. Lest I be deemed less civilised than our parliamentarians, I will try and tell it in Queen’s E, which is India’s national language, reason why ‘April turned May’, or is it June, asked the British to ‘Brexit’ and bugger off, to come and re-conquer India. What a good, I am loving it like Sub-Way sandbitch.
All inspirational Indian folklore has to have some British and rest Punjabis in it, so does ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’ and ‘Tunde Laat Di Fauj’ .
The folklore goes something like this.
About 185 years ago, at the eastern and western ends of India (‘Law-hore’, now in Pak Land, and the black hole of ‘Kol-Kota’, now in Mamta Land), there lived two illustrious gentlemen, who had quite a few things in common. Both were great warrior chiefs, who had left behind body parts in the battle field.
The truth is that the eye of the former was lost due to small pox in Gujranwala and the hand of the latter went into a wagon wheel somewhere between Crimea and Caucasus. Since I can’t tell it like it was in Punjabi, I need to tell it like Shekhar Gupta, with man bite dog sound-bites, a few lies here and there to make this interesting. Besides I don’t want to offend God Man ‘Baba Ram Rahim Insan’ and make him issue a fatwa from jail, because my story lacks the sex appeal of his muse ‘Honey’, who made money. So I will start the story again. About 185 years ago,………….
In the west, Punjab under the parliament of the ‘Punjabi Subha’ at ‘Law-hore’, captained by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was a very prosperous and well governed country, because the Maha Raja had a laissez faire Nelson’s view of governance. He didn’t promise good governance like Modi, but flogged the tax men Gulabh Singh and his dubious brother Dhyan for deviations in GST and De-Mon.
In the east, the East India Company (EIC) at Calcutta was a very prosperous and well governed company, turned great country called ‘Yindia’, sorry India, governed by a ‘secret conclave’, captained by the Governor General, Lord Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough. He too flogged the tax man, Lord Osborne, once in a while threatening to cut off his gonads because EIC was bankrupt because none paid sat tax and CST, excise Duty, countervailing duty, death tax, living tax, breathing tax and so on.
Despite their physical handicaps, both team captains could hit sixes at every IPL like Gawaskar, though they never had any India-Pak matches, at least till the super-shitter, sorry supper-hitter Maharaj Ranjit was still around. That was because their bats were not Kashmiri Willow, but two armies made of iron men. The Maharaj had a French deserter turned Englishman Jean-Francois Allard as army chief, and Italian turned Teri Pen Di Jean-Baptiste Ventura as army commander. In the east, the pearl, sorry Earl, had a blind man turned Field Marshal, Hugh George, 1st Viscount of Gough, as the Centurion Pontius Buggerusall, as commander of the Indian army. This story is not about the clash of the Titans at Mudki and Soberon in 1846, but about ‘Goodman Di Laltaen. and Tunde Laat Di Phauj’. So let me begin again. About 185 years ago,………….
Britain was suffering from plague and the British, sorry ‘Britishers’, they were doing Brexit, without Lords Peel, Macauly, or Mumbaikar Meri Lele, egging them on like ‘ Jan to Dec’, sorry May, definitely May. Seeing the prosperity and business opportunities offered in the region, amongst the many who did Brexit, and ran to make a buck in India, was young teen aged entrepreneur David Goodman. No, he was not the Guajarati who ran to Uganda at the same time. When every British entrepreneur scurried into the rat holes in the interiors of ‘Yindia’, sorry India, Goodman went east on an elephant till Duliajan. There, his elephant got bogged down in slush and mud and he had to hire several elephants to extricate his ‘Hathi Mere Sathi’. The Hathi is a leading item number in his story with background score by Beethoven of Madras.
Afterwards, in the cesspool created by the trampling hip shaking elephants during item number, Goodman noticed a crude black oily, very viscous substance, floating on water. He syphoned out some, put it in his tea kettle and boiled it. Nothing much happened till the kettle cooled. ‘Viola’, Teri Pen Di, the viscous crude substance split into two parts. A less viscous waxy solid ‘oliphant’ (it is a chemical name, not the poo of the poor elephant) and a base layer of highly viscous tar ‘asphaltine’ (not related to Horlicks or Ovaltine). It was an earth shaking discovery, but at that time Goodman had no idea what to do with it. His ‘Chinese’ green tea and the ruddy kettle were ruined, but he brought some of it back to Kol-Kota in Mamta Land in the tea kettle, and set about wondering what to do with it, while he paid 10 Pounds as licence fee to grow tea in 100 hectors at Duliajan, in Ahom land (erstwhile ‘Chutia’ kingdom – no this is not obscenity, but early historical name of territory in upper Assam !!). Goodman took a while to clear the Chutia jungles and plant Chutia tea instead of Chutia coffee. But being a brilliant businessman, he discovered that he could make a buck making hitherto unknown candles with the Chutia stuff in the kettle, if he threaded a wick through its backside, without offending the puritan missionary Bishop Cotton. Immediately he paid another 10 Pounds to East India company as licence fee to set up a company called ‘Lamp Black’ in Duliajan and to exploit the mineral resources of the Chutia kingdom. All this is documented history and I didn’t cook it up, I swear to God.
‘Goodman’s Candles’ from Lamp Black produced more smoke than light and got extinguished if there was a wind. So he invented, designed and manufactured what he called ‘Goodman’s Lantern’, which sold like hot cakes on all continents on earth, along with his ‘Goodman’s Candles’. It not only lit homes, but also streets, ships, light houses, horse drawn carriages, and enabled cattle class to go early morning to defecate in the fields with nary a care for ‘Swach Bharat’. ‘Goodman’s Lantern’ went where ever God said ‘let there be light to show the heathen the way, drive the fear and darkness from their hearts’, even in Punjab. Bishop Cotton, a shareholder of ‘Lamp Black’, preached hell and brimstone to promote ‘Goodman’s Lantern’. Goodman became very rich, like Ram Rahim Di Insan, almost godly, all over the Indian sub-continent. In Punjab it was pidginised as ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’ (Goodman’s Lantern). Lantern became the symbol of good, brave, illustrious deeds of a good man, like the political symbol of Ra Ga Congress, ‘Sonia Ki Hath’. Goodman Di Laltaen eventually became an adulatory adjective, an award like Bharat Ratna, which carried rewards of jagirs, large tracts of land that made recipients a Jagirdar, Jilladar or Tahasildar, depending on the area of land that was bequeathed to him as ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’.
That was in Punjab.
Piche Mud, look east now. About 185 years ago,………….
In a world of sycophancy in ancient Hindustan, art of survival under a thousand years of occupation, ‘Laat’ was a tribute paid to a great man (not to be confused with ‘Lath’). ‘Laat’ was complimentary, but ‘Lath’ derogatory (as in Lathon Ke Bhoot; bad people who deserved a kick). A Raja was referred to as ‘Laat Saheb’ (big Lord), an emperor a ‘Jangi Laat’ (master of the world). When British came to rule Hindustan, the Gov Gen was nicknamed ‘Jangi Laat’. However, when poor Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough, came to rule East India Company, in Punjab he was derogatively deemed ‘Tunde Laat’, the emperor with no hands or legs, like a kebab with no NFU. If someone didn’t perform in Allard’s army, he was ridiculed as a ‘Tunde Laat’, a handicapped soldier with no allegiance, camaraderie or valour, a disgrace. Strangely Ranjit Singh was also referred to by peasants as ‘Kana Laat’ (one eyed emperor), but with great affection and reverence. Funny people, these Punjabis, like Paki CoAS, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who says ‘Balle Balle’ while doing unspeakable things to Jangi Lath Nawaz Ki Aawaz, that he is Bilkul Sharif . Ok back to the story.
After Ranjit Singh died in Jun 1839, Punjabi Subha went berserk, in an internecine political war, palace intrigues, loot of treasury and murder (like 8 Indian non-functional PMs, ‘Tunde Laths’ with erectile dysfunction, who came and went after Rajeev Gandhi was assassinated). Ranjit’s last of 36 concubines, the daughter of a kennel keeper, Jindan (Junda Kishore) and her lover Labh Singh (a Sikh Tahasildar), rose to political power with the help of Dogra Gulabh Singh, who coveted the biggest salt mine in the word at Khewra, as well as, to be ‘Jangi Lath’ of Jammu & Kashmir. The Punjab army (not Pakis mind you) stood in the way. And since they were not being paid regularly, started an OROP like agitation. Soon they were banished to south of Satluj as ‘Badmen Di Laltaen’, to Soberon facing the English garrison of Firozpur, and a diversionary deep penetration strike further east at Mudki, with the aim of blowing up the large British ammo and gun factories at Philour. The Punjabi army was put under command of ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’ Labh Singh, a Dogra. It precipitated the first Anglo-Sikh war in 1846. Punjab’s mighty army that maintained peace and prosperity for 40 odd years, was written off. Punjab surrendered and became a vassal state of the country called Reliance, sorry East India Company. Sob, Sob.
Our ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’, the modern Indian armed forces, were made ‘Tunde Laat Di Phauj’ after Pakis responded to exercise Brass-tacks, with ‘Zorbe-Moimim’, the doctrinal ‘Act Of God’, nuclear détente. When Chinese come to proclaim ‘Dhoka Law’ in Chumbi Valley, all the Tunde Laat Di Phauj could do was the ‘Lungi Up’ manoeuvre and offer Jappi, Pappi and Chumbi. I feel very sorry, no not for the army, but our ‘Jangi Laat’, sorry Tunde Laat, sorry Modi Laat, because of ‘Zorbe-Moimim’ which gives him finger trouble, to press N Button.
The ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’ are quite happy doing socially useful and productive work (SUPW) holding a broom instead of a rifle to do Swach Bharat, sweep everything under the carpet. Or go save children in bore wells, act as National Disaster Relief Force or build over-bridge in Mumbai. All that Tunde Laat needs to do, to become Jangi Laat, is to teach his arthritic fore finger to do yoga, to push the N-button, turn our N-doctrine from NFU (no first use) to ‘teri pen di’ first use, like Kim Jong-Un. After that just watch how the Indian armed forces turn colour to ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’ instantly from current Tunde Laat Di Phauj .
Mr America, the penultimate Jangi Laat, has given ‘Modi Laat’, our PM/She Em, Jappi, Pappi and Chumbi, while he only shook hands with Mamnoon Hussain and Xi Jinping. Their hands are dirty, while our ‘Modi Laat’ is a very clean man, very huggable and kissable. This is the right time Modi Laat Ji, to get rid of arthritis on your fore finger. What is the problem, let us collectively say ‘Booooooooo’, a new war cry, and see if Pakis and Gen Bajwa run off to Dubai with their ‘Zorbe-Moimim’ Ki -Pen-Di doctrine, saying Balle Balle.
Cheers to ‘Goodman Di Laltaen’ and ‘Tunde Laat Di Phauj’